MSP Gil Paterson has responded to an article in the Clydebank Post where a councillor argued in favour of an A&E being created at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. This is what Mr Paterson said:
Many people would like an A&E service at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital – but when they understand it could compromise the specialist heart and lungs services, there is a massive swing in thought.
In 2013, I surveyed 7,756 constituents in Clydebank and Milngavie, and 82 per cent (6,307) thought there should be an A&E at the GJNH.
However, 53 per cent (4,083) would actually not support an A&E at the hospital if it negatively impacted on the current specialist heart services.
Moreover, that would mean 64 per cent of those who think an A&E should be at the Golden Jubilee (6,307) would change their mind.
Only a minority, 40 per cent (3,119), would actually be in favour of creating an A&E at the hospital that took resources from the heart services which impacted negatively upon it.
I believe a majority would not support an A&E because heart disease is one of the biggest killers for those living in the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency, and this world-renowned service is on their doorstep.
However, my hope for the future is that there is a means to provide a minor injuries unit to the GJNH. This would not, as I understand it, have any negative impacts on the fantastic work that is done at the hospital and allow them to continue investigating and learning more about heart disease.
I do agree with the spirit of what Councillor Mooney is saying, that he wants what is best for the people of Clydebank, but this is actually the better option. If someone suffers a serious, sudden cessation of the heart's functioning which is life-threatening, paramedics will most likely be instructed to take them right to the Golden Jubilee Hospital, where the best of the best are.
Unfortunately, heart attacks are still one of the West of Scotland’s biggest killers but the Golden Jubilee is making an enormous difference, and always building on the good work it is doing.
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the First Minister’s commitment to letting the Scottish electorate decide its future post-Brexit.
It follows a statement in the Scottish Parliament where Nicola Sturgeon also asked the opposition to work with the government in securing a good deal for Scotland from the UK’s departure from the EU.
He said: “The Tories are making a pig’s ear of politics right now and I do not expect them to walk away with a great deal for Scotland at the Brexit negotiating table.
“It’s only common sense that Scots should be allowed to choose between their potential futures, after this constitutional upset with potentially massive implications on their lives.
“It is for that reason I am glad the First Minister has sealed her commitment to letting the electorate decide the future post-Brexit, and not politicians who have no mandate in Scotland.
“I see no issue with pausing and waiting to see exactly what the outcome of Brexit is going to be – that to me is responsible and considerate politics. This sensible approach is what the public expect of the SNP government, our triple-lock mandate is still in place.
“Despite the chamber dramatics from the Tories and Labour, each of their leaders has actually agreed that another referendum should not be blocked, including: Ruth Davidson, David Mundell, Kezia Dugdale and Jeremy Corbyn.
“I’m pleased there’s a recognition that independence is worthwhile with or without Brexit. I was glad to hear the SNP will be working with others who believe in independence to inform the Scottish people of the many benefits, from economy, equality and beyond.”
Party leaders’ support for a referendum
Ruth Davidson said it should happen
Gil Paterson: 'Grubby Tory-DUP deal shows austerity is a political choice NOT a political necessity'
MSP Gil Paterson has called the Tories’ deal with the DUP “shameless” and “grubby”.
The Clydebank MSP pointed out the financial aspects of the deal clinched on Monday sum up how little the Tories care about Scotland.
The position of current Scottish Secretary David Mundell who said a day before this deal was announced that he "won't support funding which is deliberately sought to subvert the Barnett rules".
Mr Paterson said: “This grubby deal clinched between the Tories and the DUP throws even more chaos into the so-called United Kingdom – it absolutely flies in the face of the Barnett Formula and leaves Scotland short-changed.
“It’s time for Scottish Secretary David Mundell and leader Ruth Davidson to live up to their boasts and prevent this deal from going through by ordering their Scottish MPs to use their votes to halt it.
“To quote David Mundell, the agreement with the DUP does ‘deliberately subvert’ the Barnett rules that ensures devolved countries of the UK get their fair share of tax revenues.
“I do not expect the Scottish Tories to act and stand up for Scotland, as they do appear to be more interested in bowing to Theresa May, to help her cling to power. It is shameless.
“This agreement ends austerity in Northern Ireland but continues it in Scotland, where people suffer on a daily basis in my constituency. This shows austerity is a political choice not a political necessity.”
What is the Barnett Formula?
The Barnett formula is a mechanism used by the UK treasury to automatically adjust amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is supposed to reflect public service spending in England, England and Wales or Great Britain, as appropriate.
Additional funding (£bn)
England - £29.50bn
Northern Ireland - 3.39% - £1bn
Scotland - 9.85% - £2.91bn
Wales - 5.69% - £1.68bn
Canadian scientist Dr Parsons thanks MSP Gil Paterson for role in avoiding being thrown out of Scotland
A CANADIAN lecturer who was ordered to leave the UK despite having a government research grant has been allowed to remain permanently, MSP Gil Paterson can reveal.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP has thanked the public for the overwhelming support it indicated for Dr Kevin Parsons, a University of Glasgow biodiversity lecturer living in Bearsden.
The Home Office threatened to deport Dr Parsons despite him holding a £1.32 million UK Government research grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for climate change, which directly employs three people.
The father-of-two, who has a British-born daughter, risked his family being torn apart after a series of inconsistent exchanges with the Home Office over the phone across a number of days ending with him being told to leave the country by June 11.
Now, Dr Parsons has been given Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which is a permanent residency “ granted to people who have already shown a commitment to the UK on a temporary visa”, according to Visa Bureau.
Mr Paterson said: “Dr Parsons contacted my office for help because the Home Office was intending to boot him out of Scotland because of what seemed to be an administration error.
“Naturally, I was aghast that a scientist with a UK Government grant was going to be removed from the UK — even by the Tory standards on immigration, it was totally absurd.
“While I am delighted Dr Parsons’ family can breathe a sigh of relief now, the cost they have had to endure is outrageous. That more than £13,000 has been splurged on this process is an utter outrage and it casts an eye on how inefficient and crazy our immigration system can be.”
Dr Parsons said: “I would like to thank Gil Paterson and his office for their role in helping to in resolving my immigration status. I am relieved the Home Office has allowed me to stay in Scotland. The whole incident has been an incredible stress for not just me, but my wife Lynne and daughters Avery and Skye. The media attention and public profile of my case has been humbling to see and I thank each and every person who spoke out for me, I am eternally grateful.”
MSP Gil Paterson has applauded Douglas Academy, whose pupils have won a second major debating competition in a week.
On June 22, the academy won the ESU Scotland Juniors’ Debating Competition at the National Final 2017 in the Scottish Parliament.
MSPs Rona Mackay and James Dornan chaired the event in a committee room where pupils thrashed out arguments on Brexit and security of Britain.
It is the second big win for Douglas Academy, which last week won the Donald Dewar Debating Competition 2017 on June 15.
Mr Paterson said: “I have lodged yet another motion for Douglas Academy in my constituency, because it has some of the sharpest young minds in the whole of Scotland.
“I am thoroughly delighted for the youngsters who have battled off stiff competition, being crowned again the best of the best. It’s an incredible honour to represent them in Holyrood.
“To this avail I have lodged another motion applauding the excellent work by the young debaters at Douglas Academy.”
Ms Mackay said: “I had the privilege of chairing this event and watching this debate live – and I was incredibly impressed with the debating skills of the young people present. Massive congratulations must go to Douglas Academy for winning as well as those runners up. Debating is no easy task, and to make it to this stage shows remarkable skills, courage and charisma.”
Press release from Gil Paterson and Rona Mackay by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
Motion Number: S5M-06343
Lodged By: Gil Paterson
Date Lodged: 23/06/2017
Title: Second Big Debate Win for Douglas Academy
That the Parliament congratulates Douglas Academy in Milngavie on winning the ESU Scotland Juniors’ Debating Final, which was held in the Chamber on 22 June 2017; recognises the hard work and preparation of the pupils who debated the motion, “This House believes that leaving the European Union will increase British security”; understands that, throughout the year, schools from across Scotland have been debating controversial social and political issues, such as Turkey’s membership of the EU, whether animal testing should be banned and the role of the monarchy in modern life; thanks Rona Mackay MSP and James Dornan MSP for taking the time to chair the event, and the EU Commission in Scotland for supporting it; applauds all of the schools that took part, and notes this is the second recent debating win by the academy, following its success in the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition one week earlier.
Gil Paterson: Parents in my constituency will benefit from boost to maternity grants by SNP government
Clydebank and Milngavie mums with low incomes can expect increased financial assistance from the SNP government.
MSP Gil Paterson has applauded the use of new Maternity and Early Years Allowances powers to create a new grant starting in 2019.
The Best Start Grant will provide financial assistance to new low income mums, including: £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children, £250 when child starts nursery and £250 when child starts school.
The policy announcement coincides with the registration of the baby box opening for mums-to-be expecting on or after August 15.
Mr Paterson, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, said: “There’s no denying we have an issue with poverty in parts of my constituency and that it can have a negative effect on a child’s early years — the Best Start Grant and Baby Box are designed to combat this.
“The policies are all about bringing a level playing-field for children who are born into circumstances beyond their control. They will also help relieve the pressure on struggling parents.
“New mums in Scotland will now get the most financial assistance than any other part of the United Kingdom, which shows how we do politics different in Scotland. At the heart of our agenda is helping people who need it.”
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722).
Scots fire safety regulation is robust but ministerial working group to take fresh look at rules, says Gil
MSP Gil Paterson has echoed remarks made by Communities Secretary Angela Constance on fire safety in tower blocks in West Dunbartonshire.
Ms Constance told how fire safety rules have remained robust in Scotland, following reclassification of some materials in 2013.
A question was raised in parliament about West Dunbartonshire in 2013 when construction was briefly paused on a development while a cladding material for low-rise flats was green-lit by the government.
The cabinet secretary said it would be “absolutely wrong to suggest there was any watering down of regulations” when the material was approved for low-rise flats.
The material is different in both composition and use to that of Grenfell Tower, Ms Constance confirmed.
MSPs were told the Scottish Government is not going to be complacent following the horrific events of Grenfell Tower in London, where dozens died in a blaze.
A ministerial working group has been set up to take a fresh look at regulations in wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Mr Paterson said: “Scotland’s fire and safety regulations are first-rate and classifications are updated on a regular basis.
“But, we cannot be complacent, given the travesty of Grenfell Tower. It’s very wise that we take a fresh look at all of our regulations with this new short-life ministerial working group.
“The fire service is busier than ever now with safety checks in premises around the country, ensuring the robust standards are upheld.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
MSP Gil Paterson has called out the Tory government as a “lame duck” following an empty Queen’s Speech.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said: “How can we expect this bunch to go into Brexit negotiations with the EU, after presenting plans to do virtually nothing in government over the next two years, and come out with a good deal?
“The Queen’s Speech was another humiliating moment for the Tory government, which has sealed itself as a lame duck administration.
“It’s all very sad, though, that a party’s infighting can inflict so much damage not just to the countries of the UK, but to our European allies as well.
“I am proud of the Scottish Parliament, SNP government and our MPs as we show a unified, competent approach to governing Scotland. It is in stark contrast to the mess going on in London.”
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
A PARLIAMENTARY motion congratulating the chairman of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice has been supported by scores of MSPs.
Gil Paterson lodged the motion commending Professor Leo Martin on receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The honour was bestowed upon Professor Martin for his services to healthcare and education over the decades.
The new MBE is a professor of law at the University of Strathclyde and a founding partner of Sinclair McCormick Giusti Martin law company, and was the first chairman of John Wheatley College in Glasgow.
Mr Paterson said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Martin for this outstanding achievement. I’m thrilled his devotion to healthcare and education has been recognised.
“I am especially pleased for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, to have yet another of its exceptional staff recognised. They will be very proud of Professor Martin, who is clearly an exemplary force in healthcare, education and the law.”
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
The motion reads:
That the Parliament congratulates Professor Leo Martin, chairman of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, on being appointed an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List; notes the honour was bestowed on Professor Martin for his services to healthcare and education; understands that he has been in the role for 20 years, is a professor of law at the University of Strathclyde, is a founding partner of Sinclair McCormick Giusti Martin and was the first chairman of John Wheatley College in Glasgow, and thanks Professor Martin and all at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.
Supported by: Bill Kidd, Rona Mackay, Clare Haughey, Gordon Lindhurst, Edward Mountain, Richard Lyle, Bob Doris, Sandra White, Joan McAlpine, Stuart McMillan, Stewart Stevenson, Ivan McKee, Ash Denham, David Torrance, Fulton MacGregor
VICTORS from Douglas Academy have been congratulated by MSP Gil Paterson after winning a prestigious debating competition.
The Milngavie line-up won the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition 2017 on June 15, which was hosted in the Scottish Parliament debating chamber.
Arun Smith and Matthew McIlree beat off stiff rivalry from High School of Dundee, Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow, Madras College in St Andrews.
Mr Paterson has celebrated the winners from Douglas Academy, whose school is in his constituency covering Clydebank, Milngavie and Bearsden North.
He said: “I am very proud of the Douglas Academy team for winning this competition – they have shown themselves to be some of the best versed young debaters in the whole of Scotland.
“The subject they took on is a hard political topic – smoking and healthcare - and to articulate arguments like so takes talent, intellect and extreme confidence.”
Notes to reporters:
That the Parliament congratulates students from Douglas Academy in Milngavie for winning The Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition 2017 on June 15 in the Scottish Parliament chamber; notes Arun Smith and Matthew McIlree debated a motion about whether smokers and non-smokers should have access to the same level of healthcare; recognises the talent of the Douglas Academy students as well as finalists from the High School of Dundee, Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow, Madras College in St Andrews all took part.
MSP Gil Paterson has expressed his heartfelt sympathy for the entire community of Grenfell Tower on behalf of the people of Clydebank, Milngavie and Bearsden.
His words follow a Scottish Government order to investigate high rises across Scotland.
A gigantic blaze gutted the London tower block earlier in the week killing 30, with 76 still missing.
The terrifying scene has prompted authorities nationwide to review safety measures and building appraisals.
In Scotland, Kevin Stewart MSP, cabinet secretary for housing, has asked both East and West Dunbartonshire councils to carry out the following:
Mr Paterson said: “The world has been shocked by the terrifying scenes at Grenfell Tower in London – the fact that there were residents, children, caught inside as the blaze swept through. It is truly bloodcurdling.
“I understand Craig Edward of the residents’ association at the Dalmuir high rises was quick to call for a safety review of the flats – and I welcome his swift action.
“I am pleased that the Scottish Government has ordered this to ensure this happens for all of the flats in councils across not just East and West Dunbartonshire but the whole of Scotland.
“Although housing standards are much more superior to that of England and Wales, we need to ensure that they are robust and there are no hazards that are hidden from view. I’m pleased the government has taken the action to investigate this.”
The announcement that more than £50 million is set to be put into new affordable housing in East Dunbartonshire has been applauded by MSP Gil Paterson.
Both West Dunbartonshire Council and East Dunbartonshire Council as well as house builders now have the opportunity to plan ahead with grant subsidies guaranteed, for the first time, for the next three years until 2021.
West Dunbartonshire is getting £8.6 million in 2017/18, £9.8 million in 2019/20 and £10.4 million in 2020/21, an investment of more than £28 million from the SNP government.
East Dunbartonshire is getting £6.5 million in 2017/18, £7.36 million in 2019/20 and £7.8 million in 2020/21, totalling above £21 million.
It is part of a £1.75 billion SNP government investment in affordable housing across Scotland.
Gil Paterson MSP said: “This is a strong investment from the SNP government to home building in local authorities in my constituency, Clydebank and Milngavie.
“There are problems with poor housing stock in both local authority areas, but especially in West Dunbartonshire.
“Both areas, for different reasons, are in desperate need of new, modern affordable housing developments. In East Dunbartonshire, affordable housing is so scarce that people have been driven out of their communities. In West Dunbartonshire, there is an unsuitable waiting list, people living in unacceptable levels of poverty.
“The new affordable housing will boost the living standards of many in both East and West Dunbartonshires. The whole investment from the SNP government will help continue to build our strong and stable economy.”
Notes for editors
Affordable housing covers homes for social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership.
The full breakdown of each Local Authority’s Long term Resource Planning Assumptions are available on the Scottish Government website.
The Scottish Government recently confirmed £422 million would be allocated to councils in 2017/18 as part of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.
The latest Quarterly Housing Statistics covering the first year of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme are published by the Scottish Government.
A REPORT showing Scotland’s economic performance remains strong has been applauded by MSP Gil Paterson.
The Clydebank and Milngavie politician welcomed new information presented by chief economist Dr Gary Gillespie’s in the State of the Economy Report.
The researcher studied Scottish, UK and world economies and presented his findings on Wednesday June 14, ahead of the Opportunities for Growth debate in Holyrood.
The report highlights:
“London is a different animal entirely, and the world’s biggest financial sector, so we cannot compare any other area in the UK to it.
“What the report says about Scotland vindicates the hard work the SNP government has been doing to ensure growth is maintained in Scotland.
“Outside London, Scotland is the area to attract the most foreign investment which is undeniably a great achievement for the government here.
“Looking ahead, we must see an increase in economic growth but I am all too aware of the effects Brexit presents to Scotland’s economy.
“The SNP government will push ahead and battle through this uncertainty as much as we can, and continue to build our economy.”
NOTES TO REPORTERS
MSP Gil Paterson has commented on the two General Election results in his constituency, both Dunbartonshire East and West.
On John Nicolson's election loss, Mr Paterson said: “Despite some disappointing losses the SNP has won a resounding majority across Scotland.
"However, I am deeply saddened that John Nicolson did not get elected in East Dunbartonshire. John was a fighter of an MP, and often stole the stage in Westminster.
"He has a love for his constituency that I know will continue forever. John has literally helped thousands of constituents who have contacted his office in need of aid. He opened up a public shop for his office which served as an excellent drop-in for the constituents.
"John has shown he is a force to be reckoned with in Scottish politics and I very much doubt we have heard the last of him. As an MSP, I would like to thank him for his service to Scotland.”
On Martin Docherty's victory, he said: “Well done to Martin Docherty for another victory in West Dunbartonshire. The people of Clydebank have confirmed they want to send a powerful SNP opposition to Westminster.
"This is desperately needed as we move ahead with negotiations to leave the European Union, given the disarray the Tories are in now.
"Theresa May has absolutely humiliated herself because this election has completely backfired on her.
"The SNP is still the third-biggest party in Westminster and we will continue to fight tooth and nail for the people of Scotland there.”
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07342 061722..